Do Scotland have any chance of winning the Six Nations?

Do Scotland have any chance of winning the Six Nations? It’s fair to say that there is an intense hunger for success among Scottish rugby fans for the national team […]

Do Scotland have any chance of winning the Six Nations?

It’s fair to say that there is an intense hunger for success among Scottish rugby fans for the national team to break their duck and land a Six Nations title. Scotland haven’t won the event since 1999, which was the final year of the ‘Five Nations’, with Italy joining the competition from 2000. You have to go as far back as 1990 for Scotland’s last Grand Slam success.

There are no easy explanations for the fact that Scotland have gone so long without Six Nations glory – perhaps the most straightforward reason is that other teams have simply been better than them, and some of the other nations have bigger talent pools to pick from when it comes to choosing their Six Nations squad.

Some Scottish supporters may look to Ireland as an example of making the most of a smaller talent pool. The Irish have won the Six Nations four times since 2009, including two Grand Slams, and their success is a result of expert coaching and a golden generation of talent passing through their ranks. Scotland may look at that and think that similar achievements are not beyond them if they can finally find the winning formula that might grant them success.

With the 2021 edition of the tournament approaching, it’s fair to say that Scotland are not fancied in the Six Nations odds ahead of the competition getting underway. England are the favourites, with France and Ireland following in tow, and of course Wales can never be discounted given their history of bouncing back from disappointment.

Scotland have not had that ability to put right poor performances in the Six Nations, rather their struggles to have any real impact in the tournament have perpetuated over the last 20 years or so. They have not finished higher than third since they won the Five Nations in 1999, and more often than not they have found themselves in a battle with Italy to avoid the Wooden Spoon.

Last year gave some glimpses that perhaps there is gradual improvement within the Scottish ranks. They finished fourth in the end, but recorded three wins in total, with success against France, Italy and Wales, and could count themselves unfortunate not to get a result against England at a mud-soaked Murrayfield. They pushed Ireland close too.

Those displays gave an indication that perhaps Scotland are a bit of luck away from going on a really good run at the Six Nations. Momentum is everything when it comes to this historic event, and if you can start off on the right foot then confidence can build and before long the wins just keep rolling in. Scotland start their 2021 campaign against England at Twickenham – it doesn’t get much tougher. But if Gregor Townsend’s side can somehow pull of a win in London, as they did two years ago in a rip-roaring contest, then who knows what the 2021 Six Nations could bring for them?

Scotland’s long-suffering fans are the ones who deserve a moment of glory more than anything. In these strange times, where the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has led to some strange happenings in the sporting world, it may just be destined for Scotland to finally put an end to two decades of hurt in the Six Nations this year.